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Handbook on the Prophets
Baker Academic / 2009 / Paperback
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The prophetic books of the Bible contain some of the most difficult passages in the entire Old Testament and can prove especially confusing for those new to this corpus. This book offers a thorough and insightful introduction for the beginning student of the Old Testament prophetic literature. Robert Chisholm guides students through the important and often complex writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. Rather than attempting to provide a detailed verse-by-verse commentary, the handbook focuses on the prevailing themes and central messages of the prophetic books. Chisholm begins each chapter with a brief analysis of the social and historical setting of the book under discussion. As he works through each of the writings, Chisholm describes the structure, content, and important concepts found therein. Without becoming mired in overly technical issues or academic jargon, Chisholm considers critical issues whenever they are important for the interpretation of a particular passage. In general, however, he focuses more broadly on the theological themes that characterize the work as a whole. In each case, he considers how the message of the prophets would have been heard in their respective historical communities and the continuing importance of the prophets for contemporary study.
The prophetic books of the Bible contain some of the most difficult passages in the entire Old Testament. Veteran professor Robert Chisholm guides readers through the important and often complex writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets, examining the content, structure, and theological message of each book. Rather than attempting to provide a detailed verse-by-verse commentary, this handbook focuses on the prevailing themes and central messages of the prophetic books. It considers how the message of the prophets would have been heard in their respective historical communities and considers the prophets' continuing importance for contemporary study. Now available in paperback.
An excellent contribution. . . . [Chisholm] has provided an accessible commentary that offers an overview of the message of the biblical text with sensitivity to the historical context of the prophet. Mark J. Boda, Review of Biblical Literature
An accessible introduction of the prophetic books for those who desire a better understanding of the message of the prophets. . . . [Chisholms] discussion of the context of the prophetic books is very helpful. Claude Mariottini, Review & Expositor
An extremely useful tool for serious study of the Old Testament. . . . Commentaries of this nature and especially of this quality not only bridge the chasm between the technicalities of scholarship and the practical situations of preaching, teaching, and worship in churches, but also begin to disturb the status quo in which the use of and reliance upon translations and paraphrases has dulled the churchs sense of responsibility toward the study of the Hebrew text. This is one of the most praiseworthy aspects of Chisholms work. . . . Chisholm deserves much praise for the extent and depth of his commentary. J. C. Lubbe, Old Testament Essays
Chisholm proceeds chapter by chapter through each prophetic book (as well as Lamentations and Daniel) and provides an often-detailed summary of its contents plus an analysis of literary themes, linguistic notes, and occasionally historical contexts. Tyler Mayfield, Religious Studies Review
Chisholms book is a welcome addition to the books on the Hebrew prophets. It will help readers find their way through the complexities of the writings themselves and also through the thickets of varying interpretations. The author takes a thoughtfully conservative approach to the knotty critical problems posed by the prophetic books, offering concise but incisive support for positions that take the Bibles own claims seriously. This book will make the prophets more accessible to a whole range of readers. John N. Oswalt, Wesley Biblical Seminary
Here is a book on prophetic literature that is in a genre almost of its own! . . . Its major strength is to help students with interpretation of specific passages, less detailed than most commentaries, but interacting with a broad range of scholarship and providing clear presentation and argument. Students, irrespective of background, who explore this work will have a clearer understanding of passages, with an irenic and fair presentation of various views. Whether for exegesis courses or for further reading on exegetical issues raised in an introductory course, this book should become a much used reference. John Olley, Colloquium
The strengths of this handbook are its breadth in one volume, division between introductory material and deeper scholarly issues, attention to conservative and higher critical interpretations, and a wealth of references for pursuing further study. . . . This handbook is to be commended for tackling such a vast topic, approaching it in a scholarly yet conservative way, differentiating between basic and more complicated levels of commentary, and making all of this accessible to various readers. Scott A. Ashmon, Concordia Journal
Robert B. Chisholm Jr. (Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of Old Testament and chair of the department at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author of Interpreting the Minor Prophets and From Exegesis to Exposition: A Practical Guide to Using Biblical Hebrew.
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